Think of protein and what comes to mind – a thick steak – a poached egg?
How about some puy lentils or cannellini bean mash instead?
Besides being a healthy food for humans their lighter carbon and water footprint means they’re good for the planet – and to drive this point home the UN has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses.
If we got more of our protein from lentil dahl and less from beef vindaloo for instance we’d save a lot of water – it takes roughly 7000 litres of water to produce about half a kilo of beef compared to around 162 litres to produce the same amount of lentils.*
‘Pulses tick a lot of environmental boxes.
Unlike most forms of protein – pulses – or legumes – don’t need refrigeration in transport and they’re a crop that doesn’t need a lot of chemicals.
They draw their own nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil so they don’t need fertiliser’ says chef Simon Bryant, who knows a thing or two about turning lentils and beans into star turns on the dinner table.